Succeed as an online student

Being an online student is very difficult. I took my first online course as a community college student. I was happy to see the link in this course’s materials to the assessment at San Diego CCD’s website. I remember reading through their quiz five years ago when I took my first online class. I was nervous, but knew I could not attend classes in person due to my employment situation.

Online classes require you to be very organized. You must keep track of assignments without having someone tell you. You must have a reliable computer and internet connection. You also have to be prepared for the worst and know where you can get online at any time in case your computer fails.

The “Strategies for Success” page offers some great tips. I found designating regular school days and times to be the most useful. When I attended the University of Phoenix online I found having a consistent schedule helped me build a routine. I also built in extra time in case of emergencies. For example, I would never designate the day before an assignment was due as the school day. I did not want to find myself working or dealing with a computer outage and not being able to complete my assignment.

I am having difficulty establishing this routine right now. I was hoping to have this first course completed already, but I have allowed life to get in the way. Of course, I could list all the excuses including some medical issues, work changes, home life, and my cat wanting my attention. These are only excuses. It is time to get dedicated to this program.

Dr. Haycock in his “Working in Teams” presentation reminds us that clearly established ground rules and clear communication are key for success. One rule I have had with other teams is regular updates during the week and clear communication. I must establish this habit again even before being assigned to my first team at SJSU.

Enid Irwin’s presentation on Student Teams also emphasizes being silent and absent as two types of “Disastrous Behavior.” Eliminating this behavior early will help me and my classmates to succeed.

OTRS Tip and Trick

I love using the internet for research!

I use the OTRS open source ticket system to manage IT projects including help desk requests. Today a tech put in the wrong amount of time. Instead of 0.50 hours, it was entered as 50 hours. How to change it? There’s no place to correct that time. Any additional comments add to that time rather than editing it.

I found the solution on

There’s the solution! Enter a new note or comments with a negative time.

For example, with it reporting 50 hours, enter a ticket with the time as -49.5. It will do the math and report the time as 0.50.

Problem solved.